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good afternoon. i'm joy reid in for martin bashir. it's friday, august 30th. can the president escape the shadow of iraq in syria? >> making the case for a strike in syria. >> the president is losing momentum. >> the white house believes the case against assad is clear-cut. >> this crime against shon shens matters to us. >> i was not a fan of mr. assad. >> he's made mischief. >> you ought to be very careful about drawing lines in the sand. >> limited. tailored approaches, not a repetition of iraq. >> the british parliament does not want to see british military action. >> the ghost of tony blair and george w. bush and saddam hussein. >> we shust stop the terror. >> when you go to war, congress
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must authorize this. >> now watch this drive. >> both the president and the vice president before they became in power understood this. >> the president has to make a tough call, tough decision the president will make. >> the american people are tired of war. >> but fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility. we begin with president obama's national security team moving forward with the syria plan. in an unusually hectic friday before labor day, today saw a flurry of conference calls and meetings on the crisis. if there are any doubts the u.s. will strike despite the fact that the president insists he's made no decision. this is president obama just a short time ago. >> we cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on
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a terrible scale. i have said before and i meant what i said, that the world has an obligation to make sure that we maintain the norm against the use of chemical weapons. >> much earlier, the white house made public its unclassified intelligence report. the assessment of the syrian government's use of chemical weapons on august 21st is, 2013, determining that 14g 29 people were killed in the chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children. and this afternoon, secretary of state john kerry went before the cameras making an impassioned case to punish assad. >> we need to ask, what is the risk of doing nothing? it matters because if we choose to live in a wold where a thug and a murderer like bashar al assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the united states and our
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allies said no and then the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve. >> the administration is working to convince a fractured congress and a divided public. in a new "wall street journal" poll, 50% of americans believe the u.s. should not intervene in syria in the wake of the chemical weapons attacks. but if the the action is limited to launching numbers from ships, the number flips and 50% support a strike. a whopping eight in ten say the president should get congressional can approval before action against syria. that is creating strange allies in the corridors of capitol hill. >> the constitution is it explicit on this. when you go to war, congress must authorize this. both the president and the vice president once upon a time before they became in power understood this. >> i know that he does not want to engage this country in another long-term open-ended
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war. we get that. but that has nothing to do with members of congress representing the people in our country. >> and reaction is just as mixed in favor of military action. with people like house democratic leader nancy pelosi and republican senator bob corker agreeing on support for limited strikes. >> overseas supporters is breaking along unfamiliar lines. prance is on board with plans to go after the regime after britain bow the out. the british parliament dealt david cameron a blow voting to reject a military strike. >> it is clear to me that the british parliament reflecting the views of the british people does not want to see british military action. i get that, and the government will act accordingly. >> all this comes as united nations inspects are say they've completed collecting samples and are working to expedite analysis of last week's attack. as today brought fresh news of atrocities, disturbing footage shows what rebels claimed was an
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attack with a napalm like substance at a syrian school earlier this week that killed at least ten and left dozens more wounded. just adding to the wrenching home toll and the weight of the decision before this president. let's get to nbc's kristen welker at the white house. the president has reiterated this afternoon he really hasn't made a decision, at the same time, all of the flurry of activity with john kerry, secretary of state coming out and the president speaking it, all seems to point in only one direction, action on the military scale against syria sooner rather than later. what are you hearing? >> you're right about that, joy. if you read between the lines, the president and secretary kerry left no doubt about the fact that military action will be taken if you talking to folks on the hill, they believe there's a limited amount of time that the white house sees to take that military action. but as you point out, the president hasn't made a final determination yet about what specifically is going to happen. he was clear today that military action would be limited in
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scope, would not be another iraq. the white house really trying to drive that point home because as you point out, public opinion is mixed. have you members on congress -- members of congress, some of them calling for a vote. others saying, they would like more consultations. house speaker john boehner, spokesperson brendon buck reesing a statement essentially saying the president hadn't done a good enough job mapping his strategy and objectives. so that is some of the pressure that president obama is dealing with as he tries to come to a determination what specifically he is going to do. you mentioned the u.n. inspectors on the ground. the problem there from the perspective of the white house while they will want the inspectors to go in and make a determination of what specifically happened, the u.n. ininspecters are charged with determining whether or not there was a chemical weapons attack, not reggie chaed with who was behind that attack. so the white house making the argument that that doesn't
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necessarily change their calculation. having said that, i don't think that we would see nel type of military action taken while the u.n. inspectors are still on the ground. they are expected to leave sometime tomorrow and then of course, president obama heads to the g-20 summit next tuesday. so those are sort of the time con sfrants that the white house is dealing with, but again, president obama still trying to come to a final determination how to respond. >> very briefly, you mentioned congress. do you get the sense the white house feels it needs a vote given what just happened with david cameron in be britain. >> i don't anticipate that the administration is going to call members of congress back and have this be put to a vote. that is something that could drag on for quite some time. if you listen to the language of most of the congressional leaders, they are saying they want the white house to be in close consultations with them. even that statement that i just referenced, joy, by john boehner does not call for a vote. it calls for consultations.
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i don't anticipate that happening but doll anticipate that the debate will continue to go on about whether or not congress should have a vote. at this point in time, it doesn't appear as those congressional leaders are pushing the white house that hard to make that happen. . the aides say the reality is a lot of lawmakers don't want to have to vote on this because it is politically perilous. >> nbc's kristen welker. thank you. >> let's go now to nbc foreign correspondent ayman mohyeldin from bay ru. how are we hearing about neighboring governments and how they're reacting to what does seem like an imminent u.s. military strike on syria? >> well, different governments have had different reactions across the region. some of them expressing reservations, others flat out rejecting any u.s. intervention. right here in lebanon, for example, the government says that is any attack on syria would destabilize the region and the country here which in itself has seen some of the sectarian violence that has crippled syria
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spread to lebanon. they're very much concerned about that. there's the growing humanitarian concern about countries like jordan buckling under the pressure of continuous flow of refugees coming across. you have egypt who has expressed reservations have come out and rejected any u.s. military strike on syria believing the only option should be a political one. you have countries like turkeying that said not only do they want a u.s. strike but any military operation against syria should be so far as to try and topple the regime from power and then of course, you have iran which has come to the defense of the regime saying any attack on syria would spread to a regional confrontation that would not end favorably for the united states. a lot of mixed reactions from across the region. all the people very tense about an imminent strike. >> ayman, specifically to iran, leader of iran tweeted iranern condemns the use of chemical
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weapons in syria. what is the potential for retaliation on that front should the u.s. strike syria. >> at this point it's almost impossible to predict what can happen in terms of retaliation, if any, from either iran or hezbollah here. the iranian chief of staff of the armed forces came out with strong words saying that any attack on syria would be the second vietnam for the u.s. and a disastrous war for the americans across the region and it would be the end of the state of israel. hezbollah has been somewhat tight-lipped what their response is. they have said in the past they would defend account regime to the very end. it depends whether or not they feel the nature of the u.s. operation or the nature of the scope of the operation is to try to topple the regime or perhaps even change the balance of power in favor of the opposition rebels or is it simply a punitive measure they can live with in the short term. israel has taken out a few air strikes inside syria without any
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response from the syrian military. it is possible if the u.s. carries out this type of attack, there won't be a response from the syrian government although they have denied that saying they would defend their country against any aggressioning >> ayman mohyeldin, thank you. i want to now bring in congressman jim langevin with us from cranston, rhode island and joel rubin with us from washington. congressman, i'll start with you. you supported the president and have been asking a lot of tough questions what the end game is in in syria. are you reassured by what you heard today? >> just a short time ago, i was on the phone in a conference call with the president's national security team and the conference call in the situation room of the white house. they made a compelling case if terms of laying out unclassified evidence to the degree they could as to the fact that we -- what we p we no about this attack that occurred using chemical weapons on the 21st of this month.
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the fact that there is a significant chain of evidence that shows that there was significant planning and execution orders that took place and the president right now is reviewing the options that have been given to him by his national security team and he's considering what action to take in response if any to the syrian government's use of chemical weapons against its own people. this attacking is horrific, it's led to over 1,000 deaths of innocent civilians, many of whom were children and i believe that there has to be some response by the international community, but i want to stress and as i did in the conference call that the greatest degree possible, this needs to be an international response. and in consultation with our allies in consultation with congress and the president is going to have to lay out the case to the american people as to why any such action should be taken in in response to use of chemical weapons by syria. i've been getting a lot of
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pushbacking from many of my constituents opposed to any action or any attack or use of force by the united states. i conveyed that to the president's national security team and it's only the president that can lay out the case and make the case to the american people. >> and joel, on that front, the congressman talks about the international community needing to act together. we've already had the british parliament reject it and david cameron as senting to that. the french seem to be on board but not the germans. how would the united states then square the idea that it's acting within international norms if it doesn't have robust international support? >> joy, you're right. that's been the dilemma for the administration. the administration deeply wants to have international affirmation of this operation. it believes and rightly that the use of chemical weapons is deplorable. we've seen for the past century global repudiation of their use. it's a universal ethic. so for their use to have taken
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place but yet to not have the global solidarity behind a response is very difficult. clearly the administration has decided though and there's a sense and when i was at the state department before the iraq war as the career officer, it was the similar feeling that there is a decision that force will be used and people are collectively holding their weight to see what happens and what the consequences that have will be. >> and congressman, as we sort of careen toward those consequences, you talked about your constituents dead set gechbs action. clearly that is because of iraq. how do you square what you're here hearing in the briefings with a case that sounds similar to the case that was made against iraq in 2003? >> that's a good question. an excellent point. it was brought up in the conference call. and obviously, secretary kerry in his remarks has addressed those, as well. the reluctance on many constituents because of the
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failure of intelligence the american public was given before action was taken in iraq. i opposed the war because of the fact that the intelligence was not clear. this is a very different situation. we know there's concrete evidence that the assad regime does have chemical weapons neps large numbers quite frankly. we do have compelling evidence they have been used against innocent civilians. let's remember that the attack that took place using chemical weapons by the regime on the 21st is not the first time that the assad regime has been accused of apparently used chemical weapons. they've been used several times. this case on the 21st shows we have the most clear and compelling evidence that the regime used and ordered those attacks to be carried out. it's a very different situation from iraq. but again, the president needs to make this case to the american people and to the degree possible, we need to do this in dmoelgs concert with our coalition partners around the
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world. the presidents understands that and i expect he'll be addressing the american people shortly to lay out this case. >> thank you both. and coming up, another victim of gun crime in america. this time, she was only 13 months old. 13 months. a restaurant dinner is over $10.50 per meal. this tasty stouffer's lasagna dinner from walmart is less than $2.15 a serving. replacing one restaurant dinner a week saves your family of four over $1750 a year. save money. live better. walmart. and honestly, it was a little scary to go down to one income. so, i had to get creative. i made some missteps. i switched to some weird bargain detergent instead of tide but no matter how much i poured, our clothes were missing that tide clean we were used to. i mean, what would my grandma say if she saw the kids looking dingy? [ smoke alarm beeping ] oh! [ daughter ] mom burned the muffins!
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now to a tragic crime unfolding in in other words. a 1-year-old girl was killed and her 18-year-old baby-sitter injured in a shooting thursday night. london samuels just 13 months old and her caretaker were out for a walk when two men opened fire. police have not mead arrests in
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the case. this incident comes as the administration moves to close two key law school hopes on gun sales. one would force the registering with corporations to undergo a background check while another would prevent private groups from bringing weapons sold abroad back into the united states. those moves are, of course, far less sweeping than any legislation that could be paed by congress. with recess many will over, we ask a simple question, whether it's a school shooting, gang violence or a baby caught in the crossfire is there anything that might persuade congress to do something meaningful to address america's gun problem? coming up, our panel will attempt to answer that question because plie critical moment in the life and times of obama care. building animatronics
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fundamentally, actually, these twos issues, you look the an syria, you look at obama care and they're tieding to. they're tied together by an arrogance of this administration that they don't believe they're accountable to the american people and they are going to jam their agenda down the throats of the american people. >> that was texas republican senator and possible 2016 contender ted cruz tying crassly the president's thought process on syria to obama care. the president's signature health care law is set to mark a major milestone october 1st with the launch of federal insurance exchanges. as he lines up his allies including sarah palin in his continued attempt to defund the program the president lined up an ali with a much more impressive policy resume. >> let me just say, president clinton has been traveling all across the country for their campaign. he has been breaking it down so well that people tell me i
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should ask him to be can of explaining stuff. >> and for more on this fight, i'm joined by democratic strategist julian epstein and james peterson, director of african na studies as the lehigh university. i want you to both to weigh in, starting with you, julian, about the administration's moves on gun control we just reported. along with the shooting death of the 1-year-old in new orleans. do you think there's anything that will move congress to act on gun reform. >> julian? >> like president obama said at the parch on webs, pressure comes from outside of washington. the real question is whether the democratic party and progressive movement can marshall support for changes in gun laws to put pressure on the obstructionists. we have 11,000 of these tragedies that occur every year. 20 times the gun rate as competitors. laws allow criminals to get any kind of weapon they want on
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demand. and so again, the real question here is whether the progressive movement can put sufficient pressure on the obstructionists. two red state senators that voted for the mansion bill are leading in the polls. senator pryor who voted against the manchin bill is trailing in the polls. >> turning to as well as on this james, was the cute little 13 monld girl we saw a photo of, can her death move members of congress at all? is there any chance? >> sadly, sadly, after newtown, i'm not sure if the senseless murder of our children can move this congress to sort of counteract the powerful gun lobby there. i think there is pressure from the outside. a continuous pressure from the outside to get better gun legislation, common sense gun legislation. i think the president is doing some of what he can through these executive orders. we need lechblg late tors to legislate. if we can't get them to do that,
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we need to vote them out. pay attention to some of those polls and people ned to participate in this process. i want to make one more thing clear. we're interested in common sense gun safety reform that addresses the gun sellers and gun dealers and those selling weapons to people particularly in our inner cities. we want to have a comprehensive common sense gun state of movement. we have some of that pressure from outside of washington. we have an executive willing to make some change but we need legislators to legislate. >> i do want to turn to health care briefly. president clinton the secretary of explaining stuff is being deployed by the administration to help sell obama care as we approach the big deadlines. on the other side, formerly alaska governor half term governor and failed vice presidential candidate sarah palin. this is the statement she released. it says unaffordable care act is weeks away. this beast must be stopped. by not funding it, the time for rhetoric and ceremonial votes in
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congress is over. the time to take serious action to stop obama care is now join us in urging senators don't fund obama care. remember, if you fund it, you own it. julian, your vote. which of these two surrogates is going to win the hearts and minds of the american people? >> let's see. on the one hand you have president obama and president clinton, the two the greatest communicate kers of the 20th century. on the other hand, you have ted cruz and sarah palin. it's like the dream team versus the preschoolers. look, there's been some rhyme or reason to what the republicans have been trying to do to defund obama care. they're trying to win an argument. and to some expent in the last couple years, they've been successful because the numbers haven't been great on obama care. the numbers are change packagen now the majority of the public doesn't understand what's in obama care. it's a jump ball at this point. a very strong majority doesn't want the congress to defund obama care. the critical point, of course, is in october when the law goes
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into effect and particularly the exchanges. this is the last hurrah for the republicans that want to go against this bill. once the low goes into effect, it's going to become very, very popular. seniors will see a $4,000 a year savings is, 47 million women will get prenatal care. small businesses will get tax cuts. the growth in premiums will be controlled. there are going to be lots of stuff that starts to take effect that will be very, very popular at which point it will be impossible for the republicans to try to win the argument anymore. the only thing they're trying to do is win an argument going into the 2014 laeks. as soon as the law begins to take effect, they're not going to have a strong political argument. they never had a chance at defunding >> not to mention the fact it's already built in spending. you can't defund it. that hasn't stopped ted cruz for going after his fellow republicans and calling them chickens saying they are too afraid to do what needs to be done to obama care. listen to him and respond on the other side. >> part of the problem with the
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delay crowd is they don't have a plan to actually get it done. when they say they want to delay it, they want to take a symbolic vote on a delay but not tie it to anything that has to pass. so the house can take a thousand symbolic votes if they want. harry reid will not allow any of them to pass into law. so it becomes an exercise of just political cover rather than actually filming the problem. >> and james, he knows that that is reality. he just said it. if he knows nothing liking this will get through the senate, stopping obama care will never be signed by president obama, what is his end game? >> you're right, joy. he's smart enough to know all this talk about defunding whether it's delay or defund, it's all symbolic. ted cruz's point is to sort of absorb as much energy as he can from the right wing tea party controlled caucus within the republican party before he's got to make that pivot back to the center sometime around 2015, 2016 for his presidential run and trying to take a longer form
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version of what mitt rom had i pny had to do. i don't think ultimately this is going to work. difference between what former president clinton is doing versus what sarah palin and ted cruz are doing, president clinton will be trying to influence those folk who don't have the information to make good decisions and don't understand how important the october 1st date is. they're going to be essentially talking to palin and crowd will talk to folk that are believe that everything that has obama on it is bad. they have two very have i different objectives. one is political, one is about policy. >> james peterson, you're a very optimistic man. keep hope alive. thank you. stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. supposedly, i'm sure it's true. i started a week ago going pro with crest pro-health.
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yeah. i heard about progressive's "name your price" tool? i guess you can tell them how much you want to pay and it gives you a range of options to choose from. huh? i'm looking at it right now. oh, yeah? yeah. what's the... guest room situation? the "name your price" tool, making the world a little more progressive.
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from george w. bush's mountain bike to the very important tim scott, here are today's "top lines." there's poison in the well. >> the well of public opinion was well and truly poisoned by the iraq episode. >> i wish i was a teenager so i could be out on my mountain bike today. >> we need to understand the public skepticism. >> it's not trite. do you look fantastic. >> where did you get this jacket? >> from the network. >> i know you're trying to subtly rope me into the issues of the day. i refuse to be roped in. >> not getting drawn into a long conflict. >> putting our military into harm's way is a tough decision the president will make. >> there are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. my answer is bring them on. >> kind of an enjoyable switch for obama. now sec start a war that are the next president will be stuck
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with. >> the speech the president gave today is it an example of why there's no credibility to his right wing critics. >> i can't imagine what they're thinking. >> he is a moderate. is he a pro-american guy, a patriotic guy. >> it's all bad. the country's bad. blah, blah, blah. >> still they trash him with left wing socialist. >> today's event excluded black republicans and conservatives. >> allegedly supposedly i'm sure it's true. >> george w. bush a former president? >> i do not know that he wasn't invited. >> no republicans and no conservatives. >> tim scott, where is tim scott. >> brunl report was outrages. segregation, nation's only black senator not invited to tim scott. >> allegedly, supposedly, i'm sure it is true. >> till roll call revealed scott was invited and turned it down. >> i'm sorry i made that mistake. it's annoying. i know you guys watch the factor for accuracy. >> there was only one republican who accepted and that was abe
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lincoln who isn't have much of a choice i suppose sitting up there. >> let's get right to our panel. we're joined by contributor goldie taylor and fresh from the "cycle" toure, coast host of the "cycle." toure, shaun spicer, the spokesman for the republican national committee issued a very interesting statement after tim scott, was he invited imbroglio. he said overlooking tim scott would be like overlooking the president for the state of the union speech. is tim scott at the level of being a president? maybe the fact they both turned it down is what they have in common. >> i congratulate the show on its use of cgi. have you bill o'reilly apologize package.obviously that did not happen in reality because bill o'reilly does not apologize when the facts show he is dead wrong. but you know, obviously, right, tim scott is black,er go he must be there. he was invited. but his you principles are exist at logger heads with everything
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they're trying to do in the march. look, his people don't want him there. his tea party constituency would revolt the club for growth would raise up and turn him out immediately before is the next election. they don't want him there. and this party has been working for five decades on the southern strategy stoking white racial anxiety sigh anning we don't want to have anything to do with these folks. that's why you other people need to vote for us. if obviously, they're way behind the eight ball at this point. it's too late to say now we want scott to be there. obviously tim scott should be invited and was invied to sit there and i think the republican party just missed an entire point, an entire opportunity to try to change the conversation to be there and participate and use their dog whistles and do it undercover but to be part of this moment, they can't allow a new march on washington to happen and none of them are there. if i'm tim scott, i'm pushing myself on that podium in any
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way, shape, or form because this per pet yeas this idea they are racist and don't care what black people want. >> goldie, isn't that the point? if scott were to show up, he would have either had to pander to the crowd and get in trouble with his base or to ar tick to you calculate principles that would be such an anat theme ma to everyone listening to him it would reinforce the notion that republicans are out of touch. >> the notion that tim scott could not have come to the march on washington. his constituency would not have allowed it. bill o'reilly refers to it as the race bait areas, race hustlers, these are people tim scott cannot be seen cavorting with. that's the reason why his assistens said he would be traveling back in his home state. that's the reason why no other republican who received this invitation said yes. i happen to have known a man named an jack kemp. you could not have put forth
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wild horses to keep jack kemp away from that event or away from that podium. it would have taken a lot more than a simple party coming around him. i think it is a missed opportunity. but i think they've missed many, many opportunities. they missed it on comprehensive immigration reform. they miss it on the affordable health care act. they miss it on every opportunity they have to reach out to black and brown communities across this country and broaden their chances as jack kemp said that they should. instead, they've gone for the smaller tent. that is unfortunate for them. >> of course, goadie's right about jack kemp and the one an deny up i'd add, sca jack kemp exists in a pretea party world where the party is vin dicktive and attacking folks who don't tow the party line. kemp didn't have to worry about the club for growth. great, we're going to have a candidate to your right who bring your down. >> the republican's party been here before. you had the goldwater era simultaneously with this era on
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the march on washington. one of the things republicans tried to do is to say, martin luther king was a republican. that is our case to african-americans. you know, while they're correcting the record, while o'reilly is having an honesty moment, was mlk a republican? >> this lie bothers me to my core because first of all, in it is historically incorrect. dr. king was not a republican. he was also not a stated democrat, but as we talked before the show, liberal principles through and through his support of labor, anti-war, all sorts of things. but he was not a republican, but even if he was -- >> right. >> because his father was because so many black folk were. i think we were moving from the republican party, the party of lincoln after the new de, we starred moving and with the civil rights act we switched and became democrats. so his father, many black men and women of that era were. bulking existed in a time that
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is of a fundamentally different republican party than we have now. after the civil rights act, after goldwater and nixon with the rise of reagan, movement conservatism. it becomes a fundamentally different pate. king did not know of this current party although he knew goldwater and criticized him as defending racists. the idea king was in bed with republican is a total lie. >> king attacked not just goldwater but ronald reagan and said had he no talent. last question to you, goldie. if the republican party's only gambit is to try to wrap their arms around mlk whose principles they didn't share, what hope does this party have in an electorate becoming more and more minority every sick sick cycle. >> the issue is the country is growing against this party. unless they take a deep look inside and not an autopsy because autopsies are only done on dead body, they need to take
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a deep deep look inside and understand in order for them to represent this america, they've got to go out into these communities and understand what the pressing issues are they're presenting on a daily basis and answer hem in a way that resonates with these communities. what they cannot do is continue the sort of pay the arcual part talking down with the condescending language, roll your shoulders back, and deal with the personal accountability and the strictures of race, gender and class that keep people from being able to make it in this country. they need to do both to move forward as a party. unless they do that, they're going to become a localized party. >> maybe get a calendar because august 28th is the known date of the parch on washington for like 50 years. >> goldie taylor and toure, thank you both. coming up, tgif. the obama administration acts on two significant policy issues. who needs congress anyhow? [ male announcer ] running out of steam?
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going to become a localized who needs congress anyhow? you say men are superior drivers? yeah? then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. silence. are you in good hands? silence. help the gulf when we made recover and learn the gulf, bp from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap
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and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger. coming up, refer madness and equal rights for gay americans on the same day? take that culture warriors. did we mention, the president made it happen? >> you're scarface, right? >> yeah. >> i love al pacino, man. did you ever see scent of a welcome." >> yeah. >> did you ever seen sken of a woman" on weed? that's the way to see it, man. it's just -- "sken of a woman" on weed? that's the way to see it, man. it's just -- asken of a woman" on weed? that's the way to see it, man. it's just -- sken of a woman" on weed? that's the way to see it, man. it's just -- every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good around ♪
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with so much happening this week between the march on washington and the run-up to a possible syria vik, you may havemied two significant headlines thursday. major policy shifts that likely stung the culture warriors and left civil libertarians feeling high. first the department of justice ruled it would not sue to keep colorado and washington to keep from legalizing marijuana. then just an hour later, word that same-sex couples regardless of what state their marriage took place in will receive the same irs benefits as any other married couple straight or gay. a pair of actions to move the needle regardless of the impeachment.fantasies of the far right. steve bening, producer for the rachel maddow show and jimmy williams. okay, guy, let's start with we because it's friday. there were hints the president was going to go in this direction before. i want to play what he had to
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say about the subject of marijuana back in december. >> the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions. it does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said under state law that is now legal. >> how far open has he cracked the door to legalizing marijuana? >> what he's saying is they're not going to prosecute in those states. and so i think this leads to i an chain of events. listen, this is exactly what happened the obama administration decide not to enforce domema, et cetera, et cetera. don't ask, don't tell. so what you have here since the congress is not acting by repealing domema, by doing certain things like that, the executive branch does have certain powers which is not to enforce the laws. and that's what he's doing here. the question becomes, what are the states going to do in that
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stead. so i think if i'm not mistaken the ruling that came down said those states had to regulate the use of marijuana in order for this to take place. we'll see. this now happen in all 50 states on that level and it will be interesting to experiment to see how it works out. >> the bigger points incarceration of young black men is tied to the war on drugs. talk about the way the enforcement changes impacts that question. >> this is going to have a significant impact especially in the states affected immediately, colorado and washington. hopefully other states can doing exactly what they've done because the justice department has given them the green light. the justice department hasn't said it's hands off all together. so long as colorado and washington are responsible, it suggests that in those states we're going to having basic legalization and raeksal use of marijuana and the justice department even though it has control in terms of federal
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authority will take a hands off approach. i think what we'll see when it comes to prosecutions we'll see a great deal of progress in those two states. and when other states follow suit, we'll see progress on a more national scale. >> i want to turn to same-sex marriage rights, jimmy. the president got criticism when he first came in people didn't think he was aggressive enough on gay rights. he's done don't ask, don't tell. adding now these benefits on a federal level from the irs. how significant is that to president obama's legacy in terms of gay and lesbian rights? >> listen, it's interesting. i wrote a column about how everyone said that barack obama was the first gay president, if you will. and i didn't necessarily agree with that sort of characterization. can i say this, has he done more than any other president in the history of the country to promulgate and put forward the idea of equal rights for gays and lesbians.
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and the answer is no one has done more from the executive office. the question becomes what happens going forward and that's where i think with the irs saying about taxes, that gets very tricky. you have 24 states that their state tax laws are tied directly to the federal tax statutes. when you go to do your taxes in those 24 states, it asks you what your federal number is. it gets kind of tricky. what's happening is a systemic, sort of progression from the obama administration on lots of different fronts for gays and lesbians. it's a very big deal. it's setting up after dome ma's repeal it left open the idea of what happens in the other 38 states. people will sue all over the country. this is going to lead into a cascade of those law sues i think. >> steve, the president has a complicated relationship with the civil liberties crowd on the left because of a lot of things,
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nsa, et cetera. on these issues of personal behavior whether it is on gay rights or whether it is on enforcement of drug law, of marijuana loss, the president seems to be a strong libertarian. does this help him with that part of his base? >> i think it does. there's a great deal of appetite among progressive voters, civil libertarians who hoped you all along to see the president lead on areas like gay rights, decriminalization. you see this week' actions, you see the justice department taking a leadership role on sentencing reforms, these are exactly the kind you have steps that resonate with the progressive base with younger voters and with the same folks who elected him with high hopes just five years ago. >> all right. steve benin and jimmy williams, thanks to both of you. thanks so much for much waing this week. martin will be right back in this chair next week. a reminder for all of the "hardball" fans, you can catch chris matthews tonight at 7:00
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p.m. and coming up right now, "the ed show" with ed schultz right back on weekdays. how much protein does your dog food have? 18 percent? 20? new purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at
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good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" live from minneapolis. it's 5:00 eastern. let's get to work. ♪ what is the risk of doing nothing? >> we are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act. >> what we choose to do or not do matters in real ways to our own security. >> consulting with our allies. we're consulting with the international community. >> british parliament has voted against taking military action against

Martin Bashir
MSNBC August 30, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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